I've got a jumpstart on this one since I've already read the Farseer Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Quest), so next on my reading list are the three novels of the Tawny Man trilogy: Fool's Errand, Golden Fool, and Fool's Fate.
The Tawny Man books pick up the story of FitzChivalry Farseer, royal assassin, bastard son of Chivalry, and grandson to King Shrewd. His story in the Farseer books ended in a very bittersweet fashion. Needless to say, I've wanted to read this series for a long time.
I'll post reviews as I finish each read.
One of the things I often do as I'm reading a novel or short story is keep track of words whose definitions I do not know or that I find interesting. Either way, these interesting words are ones I feel might be of use in my own writing. That, and it's good to expand one's vocabulary every once in a while.
This latest round of interesting words comes from Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim.
alembic: An apparatus consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, formerly used for distilling liquids.
doubloon: A gold coin formerly used in Spain and Spanish America.
drachma: An ancient Greek silver coin.
gendarme: Originally, in France, a man-at-arms; a knight or cavalier armed at all points and commanding a troop; afterward, a member of a company or corps of cavalry; a cavalryman: sometimes also used for soldier in general.
mugwort: Any of several aromatic plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. vulgaris,native to Eurasia and sometimes used as a condiment.
orrery: A mechanical model of the solar system.
ossuary: A container or receptacle, such as an urn or a vault, for holding the bones of the dead.
zoetrope: An optical toy, in which figures made to revolve on the inside of a cylinder, and viewed through slits in its circumference, appear like a single figure passing through a series of natural motions as if animated or mechanically moved.
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Back in early 2011, I serialized The Five Elements chapter-by-chapter. The individual posts had thousands of viewers, of which I am appreciative. However, since that time, I enrolled the novel in Amazon's KDP Select program. One of the conditions of this enrollment is that the electronic version of the novel remain exclusive to Amazon. This means this serialization needs to go on hiatus. If you would like to read the novel, please head over to Amazon where you can purchase the Kindle or print version.
For a limited time (12/16/10 - 1/2/10), use coupon code FR54P to get The Five Elements for $.99.
My fantasy novel, The Five Elements, is now available on Smashwords for purchase or you can download the first 20% for free.
I like Smashwords. I especially like the fact that they sell my eBooks in a variety of formats: HTML, MOBI/Kindle, EPUB, PDF, RTF, LRF, PDB, and TXT. (I believe you can opt out of any of those formats, but why would you?)
I also like that Smashwords distributes my eBooks beyond their own site. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, Diesel, Kobo, and the Sony store. I opt out of Amazon only because I use Amazon's DTP service for publishing in their store.
One of the potential downsides I've seen is that my eBooks seem to get lost amidst the thousands of other titles out there on the Smashwords site. But this is a problem with each of the online retailers, too. I'll admit it's an issue I'm still struggling to overcome.
I've listed The Five Elements at the same price of $2.99 that I sell it for on Amazon.com.
[ Buy The Five Elements from Smashwords now or buy from Amazon.com in Kindle format ]
Although we're not quite done with 2010, I'm starting to wind down my attempt at reading 50 books. I'm about halfway through my current read, and then I might be able to finish one more book after that before 2011 is upon us.
Looking back, here's a list of some of my favorite reads over the past year.
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